UPDATE! It’s been a really busy few months for me!
ALC TRAINING: At the beginning of May, I took the course and exam to become an Advanced Lactation Consultant through the The Academy of Lactation Policy and Practice. It’s the most advanced training I can get without becoming an IBCLC (which is basically going to be impossible for me because of the prerequisite academic classes). I haven’t heard whether I passed yet 🤞, but I had an amazing time learning yet more of the nuances of lactation consulting 🤱.
DISSERTATION PROPOSAL DEFENSE: In the middle of May, I SUCCESSFULLY defended my proposal 🎉 (Read my proposal! It’s really long and Chapter 3 is going in the trash 🗑. For those of you less familiar with PhD programs, it’s pretty standard to write a proposal for what and how and why regarding your topic before you actually collect data. I did that kinda backwards…but regardless, I got approved to do the research I’ve already done 😂! Which means I can get into the nitty gritty of data analysis and get some findings out there! 🎓
JOURNAL ARTICLE: I finally got through all the rounds of required revisions for a journal submission I sent in a year ago 🤨 and it has been sent to the publisher for final copyediting 📝! So in the next few months(?), “Breastfeeding without nursing: “If only I’d known more about exclusively pumping before giving birth” will be published in the Journal of Human Lactation 📰.
POSTPARTUM DOULA TRAINING: My work in the ivory towers of academia 🏫 only goes so far (not very, in fact). I feel a calling to also help with the greater problem of lack of postpartum support in general. I’ve been told that I have a reassuring demeanor about me when I’m talking to new parents 😌, so I felt like working as a postpartum doula would be way to continue to help. This past weekend, I took the most amazing training (though I am thoroughly exhausted 😴) and hope to complete the other requirements for certification in the next few months.
CONFERENCE PRESENTATION: While I was at the training, I got the email telling me that I have been accepted to present “The Information Needs of Exclusive Pumpers” at the Healthy Children Project’s International Breastfeeding Conference in January 2019 in Florida 🏝. I am so excited to be getting my findings out there to those folks working with breastfeeders themselves😄!
UPCOMING ATTRACTIONS: I have submitted a few other conference proposals (🤞Japan in October🤞), have a few more proposals to submit, am working with an amazing grad student who is helping me code some of my qualitative data 👩💻, will be working with a world-renowned epidemiologist to analyze my quantitative data, am doing some classes in the School of Public Health so I can reframe my work into that perspective (I thought I was done with classes 😭), and have a publisher potentially interested in publishing the book I am planning to write 📚. PHEW!
Just dropping by to write a quick update. I’m working on editing the paper about prenatal information behavior to submit to a journal. They want it so short so it’s proving a bit of a challenge to cut it down but still retain all the great data EPers gave me.
I’m heading to Norman, OK on Sunday to do a course called “Maternal and Infant Assessment.” It’s run by the same organization as the CLC course I took and focuses on case studies and how to solve more advanced problems. I’m taking it so I can take the Advanced Lactation Consultant course in September (since I’m not a medical professional, I have to take this extra course).
The reason I’m getting these qualifications is to increase my credibility so lactation care providers of all kinds listen to my findings (they are the number one target audience for my research – they are the main people who need to know more about EPing so they can help their moms). I am also really enjoying the courses because they are totally evidence based (the bibliography in the CLC course book was 40 pages) so it helps with my own research and with knowing what other research is out there (and therefore how to argue that whatever it says doesn’t work for EPers!).
I also have a paper in my head about galactagogues as well as a full length book.Of course, all of what I am trying to get done is somewhat delayed by a massive house renovation and moving into said house, as well making sure my now 15 month old has plenty of fun with Mummy!
The above word cloud represent the emotions felt about EPing by respondents filling out the initial EPing survey during March 2017.
Respondents that had only heard the term “exclusive pumping” for the first time AFTER giving birth were significantly (p < .05) more likely to feel frustrated (p < .01), depressed, insecure, embarrassed, burdened, envious, disappointed, guilty, and rejected.
Presenting stage 1 of my research (focusing on the information that EPers get about EPing prior to giving birth) at the UMD iSchool’s Research Day. This was pre-data collection.